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Mark Hebner

Retirement, Investing, Lifestage Based Planning
“Mark's mission is to "change the way the world invests by replacing speculation with an education." He is especially knowledgeable about index funds, passive investing and the research indexes designed by Nobel Laureate Eugene Fama and Kenneth French that provide the building blocks to the prudent investment strategy that he recommends to investors.”

Index Fund Advisors

Job Title:

Founder & President


Mark Hebner is Founder and President of Index Fund Advisors, Inc. (IFA), author of the popular book, "Index Funds: The 12-Step Recovery Program for Active Investors", and is a respected speaker, news contributor and provider of authoritative information and education on investing.

"Index Funds" has received praise from financial industry and academic luminaries, including John Bogle, David Booth, Burton Malkiel, as well as Nobel Laureates Harry Markowitz and Paul Samuelson. It was nominated as one of the three all-time greatest investment books, along with the writings of John Bogle and Warren Buffett.

IFA avoids the futile, speculative, and unnecessary cost-generating activities of stock, time, manager, and style picking. Contrarily, IFA employs a disciplined, quantitative approach that emphasizes broad diversification and consistent exposure to the structural trends of global publicly-traded markets.

IFA is a true fiduciary financial advisory firm, compelled by law to act in the best interests of clients, always – something the investing public, mistakenly, believes all financial advisors are required to do.  

Mark contends that one can be a passive investor but still apply active intelligence to the process of investing.  He takes an evidence-based academic approach to this process and illustrates it with art and science.   

Mark was a member of the Young Presidents' Organization for 19 years and is currently a member of the World Presidents' Organization and the Chief Executives Organization.

Prior to founding Index Fund Advisors in 1999, Mark was President, CEO and co-Founder of Syncor International (previously a public company - SCOR) from 1975 to 1985. In Jan. 2003, Cardinal Health acquired Syncor for approximately $850 million. As a division of Cardinal Health, it is the largest radiopharmaceutical network in the United States.


BS Nuclear Pharmacy, University of New Mexico
MBA, University of California at Irvine

Assets Under Management:

$2.6 billion

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:



Nothing contained in this publication is intended to constitute legal, tax, securities, or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, nor a solicitation of any type. The general information contained in this publication should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from a licensed professional.

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October 2016

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How many mutual funds beat the S&P 500 on a percentage basis after operational fees?
84% of people found this answer helpful

This is a great question because essentially what you are asking is “how many managers have enough skill to beat the market after all fees and expenses?” Before we give you an answer it is essential that we are comparing apples to apples. So if we are asking how many managers outperform the S&P 500, which is a US large cap index, then we need to look at the performance of active managers who are trying to pick the winners in the US large cap asset class. We don’t want to look at small cap managers or foreign stock managers or bond managers because we would then be comparing apples to oranges. 

All right, enough with the fruit. Based on the Standard & Poor’s Index Versus Active (SPIVA) scorecard as of June 30, 2015, 65.34% of large cap managers underperformed the S&P 500 for the 1-year period. Over the last 5-year period, 80.8% underperformed the S&P 500. Over the last 10-year period, 79.59% of active managers underperformed. These types of figures are very similar in other asset classes like small cap stocks and foreign stocks. 

Rest assured, it is very, very difficult to do over long time horizons, which is why we tell our investors to buy and hold a globally diversified portfolio of index funds versus trying to pick the next best winner. 

March 2016
    Investing, Bonds / Fixed Income, Peri-Retirement
I am going to retire soon! How do I invest 1 million for fixed income and safety?
70% of people found this answer helpful
April 2016
    Financial Planning, 401(k)
Why is my 401k unavailable after my employment termination?
69% of people found this answer helpful
June 2016
    Mutual Funds
What is the relationship between alpha, beta, and r-squared when analyzing a fund?
69% of people found this answer helpful
June 2016
    Financial Planning, Investing
I'm 26, where do I put my money to get the most out of it?
68% of people found this answer helpful
March 2016